March 27th, 2005
With Pranams at the Lotus Feet of Bhagavan,
Today is Easter Sunday. Easter is an important occasion, not only for Christians, but for all those who follow a spiritual path. It was on Good Friday that Jesus died on the Cross; and it was on Easter Sunday that Jesus was seen alive outside His tomb. He had arisen from the dead. We call that ‘The Resurrection’.
THE MEANING OF ‘BORN AGAIN’
There is a term in Sanskrit, dwija, meaning ‘twice born’. How is it possible to be born again? Unless one dies it is not possible to be born again. The point here is that it is the personality that is transformed.
A totally realised person will lead a life quite different from that before their experience of enlightenment. A life of mundane activities, worldly thoughts, and sensual pleasure is transformed into a spiritual life. A metamorphosis occurs. It is now a religious life with unbelievable levels of spirituality.
Therefore my friends, a transformed life, a life changed and realised, is a new life, a new birth. That is why dwija (a ‘second life’ or ‘born again’) means a new life of the spirit. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is an example.
Jesus, who died on the Cross, made certain statements which are in the Holy Bible. When we analyse and try to understand them, those words have great profundity and depth.
Jesus Christ said while suffering on the Cross, “Oh Lord, why have You forsaken Me?” This is one statement on which to reflect.
The second statement (which was about His mother) was directed to John. Jesus said, “Look after My mother”. Jesus had always taken care of His mother and now he wanted John to do this.
The third statement on which to reflect are the words Jesus spoke to another man also on a cross, who was guilty of a sin. That man said to Jesus, “Oh Lord, I am a sinner. I can understand why I am crucified. But Lord, You are not a sinner; there is no blemish in You. Lord, remember me in the Kingdom of Heaven.”
Then Jesus replied, “Yes, you shall join Me there, in the Kingdom of Heaven. “
My friends, whether it is the story of the life of Jesus Christ, or statements made in the Holy Bible, all have universal application and profound meaning.
What is implied when Jesus prayed to God, “Oh God, why have You forsaken Me?”
He did not blame anybody -- not the king, not the people who instigated the king to have Jesus crucified. He did not blame Himself. That’s what we do quite often when we are in trouble. When we are in trouble, we blame others or we blame ourselves.
Instead Jesus prayed to God, for God’s mercy. “My Lord, My Father in Heaven, why have you forsaken Me?”
Perhaps this is a lesson to all of us: we have to turn to God in times of trouble, difficulties or challenges. No man can ever help us. No man is ready to offer comfort to us. It is only God who can help us. So Easter is a time of prayer, to look to God for help, not to man.
Easter is also an occasion to recognise one’s responsibilities towards elders or parents. When on the Cross, Jesus thought of His mother; He wanted John to take care of her.
It was because of His mother (Mary, the vehicle for His Divine birth), that He was on Earth as a messenger, a Messiah. Therefore Easter is an occasion to revere, respect, and think of one’s parents as Christ did.
Then there are the words of compassion spoken by Jesus when the sinner said, “Oh Lord, I am the sinner; I deserved to be crucified. Lord, remember me when You are in Heaven.”
Here the Lord says, “Yes, you shall join Me there.”
Who can forgive us? It is Bhagavan who said, “Giving and forgiving is Divine.” This forgiveness is unconditional and infinite. Forgiveness goes beyond the degree of the crime and the guilt.
Who can absolve us? Most people would like to punish us over and above what is warranted for the mistakes we commit. If I do not say “Sai Ram” to a boss, that is enough for him to fling me out of the office. If he finds the slightest mistake, it is enough for him to shout at me. But here is a Lord who says, “Don’t worry, you shall join Me in Heaven.”
What a height of forgiveness! If forgiveness was to take human form, it is Jesus Christ. And here in Baba’s life, whenever anyone comes and says to Him, “Swami, forgive me. I have made so many mistakes. My life is not as clean as it should be. I am not as pure as I should be, my Lord.“
Here it is Bhagavan who says, “Past is past. Forget the past.” What an unconditional forgiveness that is!
When Jesus was on the Cross, He said, “Father, they know not what they do. Forgive them.” Jesus asks this for those people who made Him suffer, who nailed him to the Cross, causing excruciating pain and blood loss. Yet He prays for those who are responsible for His crucifixion. What a wonderful thing that is!
Once Baba visited a place where there was an anti-social group opposed to Him. Many atheists were holding a black flag demonstration and displaying placards that said, “Baba go back.”
But our Lord kept His smile. As He was smiling, walking amidst the people waiting to see the Lord in the darshan line, suddenly He turned towards the atheists and agnostics, the ones opposed to the very concept of God. Walking behind him was a man, a justice from the state of Kerala.
The justice said to Swami, “They are all atheists. Let us not go to that side. Let us go this side. “
Baba said, “No, I will go only to that side.” (Laughter)
As He was going to them, Baba said, “Look here, I wave My hand and they bring their hands together in humble salutation.” (Applause) The demonstrators dropped their placards and black flags.
“Swami, how did that happen?”
Baba says, “I have no ill will towards anybody. I have no hatred towards anybody. I love all. As I have no desires or ego within, I can happily smile. I bless everybody. So, as I wave My hand, they join their hands in reply to Bhagavan.” This is an example of unconditional forgiveness.
Thereafter, Baba visited a place called Vijayawada, in the state of Andhra Pradesh. There were a handful of people, atheists, who wanted to demonstrate against Baba. They were questioning His Divinity. But they went unnoticed as they were outnumbered by the thousands and thousands assembled there.
Later, somebody brought this point to the notice of Swami. “Swami, we saw some people assembled, a very few, who wanted to demonstrate their disagreement, questioning Your Divinity.”
Please follow this statement, brothers and sisters. What did Baba say? “As all devotees take advantage of My visit and are ready and eager with a program, so the atheists’ association also take advantage of My visit, and they are ready with their program. I bless both programs.” (Laughter)
At one time, He also said, “All those who worship Me are like the size of a hill. All those who are critical are like the size of a mountain. I stand between both the hill and the mountain. I bless both groups. Some think of Me and criticise Me. You think of Me and worship Me. Both of you are thinking of Me. Yes, I am happy. You are happy in praising Me and they are happy in criticising Me. Your happiness is My food. Go on, play on.”
Therefore, my friends, Easter is an occasion of forgiveness. We find that in the life of Jesus Christ. Forgiveness is the other name of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
I recall a journalist from the magazine ‘Takur’ visiting this place about forty years ago. On his first visit, he was watching Swami and he thought, ‘How nice He is…how nice! He looks very much like a Hollywood film star.’
When Swami was walking towards him, he thought, ‘I do not think His hair is natural. Can it be natural?’ These two thoughts were in his mind.
Swami came closer and closer, stood in front of him and said, “Do I look like a film star?”
Well, this man started shaking. And then Bhagavan said, “Do you think My hair is false? Would you like to test it?”
This is what the ‘Takur’ correspondent wrote: ‘He picked my hand up gently and placed it on His head so that I could feel the roots of His hair. Then I apologised to Swami with tears rolling down my cheeks: “Bhagavan, I beg Your pardon. Swami, excuse me.”
Bhagavan’s reply was unexpected. “Parwa nahi, parwa nahi…it doesn’t matter. You are a genuine seeker of the Truth. There was nothing in your mind other than what you expressed. You had a doubt, that’s all. You are a true devotee.” That is the forgiveness of Bhagavan.
In the days of His childhood, a lady invited Bhagavan Baba in for a snack. Everybody said, “Swami, don’t go to her house. She is a very bad lady.”
“I will go,” said Bhagavan. We cannot put our restrictions on Him. The more we want to condition Him, the more unconditioned He will be, the more determined He will be. So He said, “I will go” and He went.
That lady served Him a South Indian dish, vadas, mixed with poison. Baba ate them and His body turned blue for a short while. But because of His Divinity, He quickly recovered. Then everyone gathered together to attack this lady. They were even ready to kill her.
Baba said, “Do not do anything to her. Let her do her work. Let her carry on with her life as usual. I don’t want anybody to shout at her, you understand.” Baba pacified everybody there. Her son was appointed the watchman of Prashanti Nilayam later, an extra bonus! What a paradox!
As Jesus said, “It is not right to follow the principle of an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. You should forgive people. When anyone tries to harm or hurt you, do not retaliate. Continue to love them.”
I remember what Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa said when someone asked him this question, “Swami, you say God is in everyone. Do you think God is in a tiger? If I think God is in a tiger, I may be killed. If I carry on saluting and prostrating in front of the tiger, I may have to meditate on the tiger in the stomach of the tiger! (Laughter) Lord, what is all this about?”
Then Paramahamsa gave this answer: “God in a saint is Yoga Narayana, God in the meditative form. God in a tiger is Rudra Narayana, God in a ferocious form. So God in a ferocious form is present as a tiger. God's form exists in a saint as all calmness and stillness, Yoga Narayana.”
Then came another question, “Swami, why is it like that?”
Paramahamsa answered, “Because God is neither. The ever-effulgent, the attributeless God, the formless God, assumes the form and takes the name, depending on the vesture of the body in which He chooses to enter.“
one has to bear the cross of misery to go beyond the body
Therefore my friends, Easter is an occasion to think of all these values of forgiveness and of surrender to God’s will.
Jesus is absolutely sure that He is with God while He is on the Cross. He is absolutely sure that he will be with God after the crucifixion. He leaves His body on the Cross.
Jesus’ death on the Cross is a message to humanity that one has to give up body identification. My friends, I do not know whether I am heading for a religious dispute or a spiritual danger (which I often get into), but I dare to make this observation.
In the present situation with Bhagavan Baba today, we may find it difficult and painful to see Him helped by the boys to stand up and walk around. I believe (similar to Jesus on the Cross) this is a lesson to humanity. It is a lesson that one has to bear suffering like that, that one has to bear the cross of misery, in order to go and grow beyond the body.
We have been listening to His discourses all along, which give the message: “I am not the body, I am not the body.” I may repeat like a parrot, “I am not the body”, but I am not prepared to bear the pain of the body. But here is Bhagavan, who goes beyond this body identification, regardless of whatever we may think.
At times, He gives us glimpses of Divinity, telling us, “Oh fool, do not think that I am suffering.” All of a sudden, we find Him walking by Himself, as He did last afternoon.
We think, ‘Oh God, is this true or is that true? You are walking normally now without the support of boys on either side, but then all of a sudden You need their help to get up. Is that true or is this true?’
The truth is the message, the lesson given to all of us, to go beyond body identification. He does His work irrespective of all the discomforts we presume He is enduring. The thing to be learnt is we have to be happy in spite of all the discomforts of the body.
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is ‘Oneness with God’. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ on this day of Easter is the celebration of non-duality, the experience of being one with God. It is a demonstration to every spiritual seeker and spiritual aspirant that one has to go beyond the body, mind and intellect, so that he is aware of the Divinity within.
One can be aware of the Divinity within, if only he successfully comes out of the ‘BMI cage’. B – M – I : Body, Mind, Intellect. We are encased in a prison. We are not able to experience the Divinity within until we come out of it.
The Holy Bible says, ”Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.”
My friends in His very recent discourse, Baba recited a poem:
Sathyamu Nandu Sarvam Shrusthinchi.
The whole creation emerged out of Truth.
Sathyamu Nandu Anage Sarva Shrusthi.
The whole cosmos merges back in the Truth.
Sathya Mahima Leni Stalama Edhi kanagonna.
If you enquire, if you investigate, can you find any place where there is no Truth?
It is Truth that exists.
Shudha Sathyamaiye Chudarayya.
It is the spotless, blemishless, unsullied, unpolluted, immortal, nectarine
Truth that exists.
Sathya Sai Baba: Sathya is Truth and the Truth shall set you free. Sathya Sai Baba will free you from all your difficulties. His is the Truth that will free you from body identification, free you from the mind and the intellect. He is experienced within you in the form of consciousness.
Baba said, “The whole of life is wasted, the whole exercise of our life is in vain, if we do not know ourselves.” If I do not know my own true nature, nothing is worthwhile in this world.
Baba said, “The eye and the ear are close together but cannot see each other. Similarly, God is as near.” And He repeats that statement, “I am with you, in you, above you, below you, around you”. You would have heard this statement umpteen times.
He is with you, in you, above you, around you, yet we are not able to know Him. We are not able to see Him. We are not able to experience Him. Is He that far away? The air is above, below, around, within, but we don’t see the air. But I cannot deny its presence and existence. I cannot live without it because this air is my life breath. Similarly, consciousness or Divinity is the One that sustains. It is the One that maintains the whole organic world.
Jesus declared, “I am the Truth, I am the Way, I am the Light.” The Truth eternal, the Way righteous, the Light of Love.
So when the Holy Bible says, “I am the Truth. I am the Way. I am the Light”, it means the eternal Truth, the immortal Truth, the way of Righteousness. ‘I am the Life’ meaning the life of Love. I am the Truth, I am the Light, and I am the Life, meaning Sathya (Truth), Dharma (Righteousness) and Prema (Love).
Jesus, who rose on the third day (Easter Sunday) after being taken from the Cross, is the testimony of our Vedic (Hindu scriptures) dictum, Mrtyormaa Amrtam Gamaya.
Mruthi is Death, Good Friday, death on the Cross; Amrtam, nectarine eternity. Easter is the celebration of eternity, of Immortality. Easter is the experience of infinity.
Easter is very important, in many aspects, which become clear if we care to go through the scriptures and observe the life of Jesus.
Bhagavan has spoken on what is to be done at this stage as a spiritual seeker. The Bible tells of this in another beautiful episode. Although there were many scholars, it was only a man of service, the Good Samaritan, who was blessed.
One might speak of the infinity, the being, the consciousness, but be totally indifferent to the suffering of his fellowmen. Mere knowledge will not help; at the most, you will be like a computer. Knowledge may bring a life of respect and power, but knowledge ability is only vanity. However, knowledge in action is service. Love in action is service.
Therefore, the Holy Bible speaks of the life of the Good Samaritan, a Samaritan that helped and served somebody. And Bhagavan wants us to serve and share. Loving, giving, sharing is the message of Jesus Christ.
But it is not only that. The blessed lives (as told in the Holy Bible) of Mary Magdalene and Mother Mary certainly speak of the need for total faith in God. They had full faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Baba says, “Just as a blind man cannot see the reality, the modern man is blind. The modern man is blind, not because of poor vision, but because he has lost the ‘sight of faith’. He has lost the vision of faith. Therefore, he is totally blind to reality. Oh man, wake up! Develop faith.”
Swami says to develop faith: “First, have faith in yourself. The one who has no faith in one’s own Self, can never have faith in anybody.”
“Swami, how to love You?”
“First, love yourself; then you can love others.“
“How to respect?”
“First, respect yourself. The one who respects oneself is able to respect others. The one who loves oneself can love others.”
Therefore, in this beautiful event, these are precious things to emulate and cultivate from the life of Jesus Christ.
I would like to draw your attention to an important fact.
Swami said this, “When you open your eyes, you see everything. Fine. Once you open your eyes, you see the diversity -- you see nature and all beings. Close your eyes; you do not see anything. It is all uniformly dark. There is no diversity.”
The problem of ego, the domination of thoughts and thoughts of superiority, are all due to the outward nature of man. When you turn inward, there cannot be any such complexities. There cannot be any feelings of superiority. Therefore, all religions, all sages, saints, seers and prophets emphasise this particular point -- the need to turn inward.
Furthermore Baba says, “To think you are going to ‘become‘ something is foolish.” I wonder about it when people say in reference to spirituality, “I am something. I am this or that.” To be nothing is spirituality. To be someone or something is the way of the world. Please understand this. ‘Becoming’ is not spiritual; being is spiritual. So let us be. Let us not become.
There is a difference between being and becoming. What you are not now, you are going to be later. That is becoming. I am a graduate and I join the university. Later, I become a postgraduate. I join the staff as a lecturer. Then I become a professor. ‘Becoming’ is something that happens in the course of time. It is what you are not, at present. That is becoming.
‘Being’, however, is that which you already are. It is what you have been from the start. Being is your very being. Being is the centre of your life -- our lives. After all, you and I are different on the surface. We are different literally and objectively. Some have ‘wider’ senses because of their well-built personalities! We may differ in color and form, at the peripheral level. But at the very centre of our life, at the very being-ness, we are all the same. Your centre is as much as my centre. Your being is as much as my being. This being is universal consciousness, the universal centre.
Therefore my friends, we should forget words like ‘becoming’ in our spiritual path. No, you are not going to ‘become’. Recognise and be aware of that which you are already. That is ‘being’.
So Easter is an occasion of being in the being-ness, not aspiring to become something or other, because the Kingdom of Heaven is within you. That being-ness (of which you are not aware, conscious or take notice of) is within you. The celebration of Easter is to be aware of the inner Self, to be aware of the inner being.
Easter is an occasion to Strengthen faith
People could see Jesus on the third day when He rose from the Cross. There was, of course, the doubting Thomas (a representative of us all, the doubting Thomas). But even doubting Thomas had to repent after touching the wounds of Jesus.
So my friends, Easter is an occasion to reaffirm and strengthen our faith. It is not simply about being convinced, but about being full of conviction. If you are convinced today, you may be convinced by someone else in a different way tomorrow. Do not convince or get convinced; develop conviction.
Conviction is unshakeable. However, when one gets convinced, it can be shaken. Convincingly, we can convince somebody. But conviction is unwavering and ultimately it becomes trust. Conviction from the worldly viewpoint is the same as trust in a religious sense. Therefore, Easter is a celebration of trust.
Easter is a celebration of surrender to God. How do we do this? How do we surrender to God?
Baba says, “Once you try to turn your mind inward, all thoughts will go, all worldly attachments will run away.”
“Swami, is that possible?”
Baba says, "Why not?”
He gives us a beautiful example. “When an army chief is attacked, what will happen? The chief of the army will run away. When he goes, the battalion follows him. Similarly, when the mind is withdrawn, pacified, inactive, and silenced, all else becomes silent. All thoughts, feelings and sentiments will follow the line of the totally withdrawn mind.”
The mind, which is so thick like an iron curtain, prevents me from diving into the depths. The mind is not helping me go deeper and deeper into my very being. Bhagavan says it must be thin, not like a thick blanket. It should be thin; thinner and thinner, so thin that it finally is gone. Then you will have the vision and experience of the Divine. That is what Bhagavan says.
Swami is unique in His own way. My friends, I never tire of repeating this again and again. The one thing that attracts me is His matchless message. His Divine message is unparallel, being novel, scientific, rational, and applicable to all situations in life. He doesn’t want you to imagine. He doesn’t want you to have hallucinations. He doesn’t want you to dream.
There are many people who want to live in dreamland. They continually say to me, “Anil Kumar, I had a dream this week.” I have enough to deal with, having my own dreams. Why do you stuff me with your dreams? When you (as body/mind) are not the reality, how can the dream be the reality, my friends?
Let us think of the dreamer, not the dream. Let us think of the experiencer, not the experience. Let us think of the seer, not the seen. The seer, the experiencer, is the Self -- supreme consciousness.
Here I would like to draw your attention to what Baba says: “What is sadhana (spiritual practice)”? Baba alone is capable of giving these unique definitions. How does He define sadhana? Very simply.
“Removing all obstacles that block the experience of your true being, the inner nature, is sadhana.”
Here is a simple example: I want to know what is behind the white screen here. Some people say there is a beautiful picture; some say there is precious gold or a painting. What should I do to see what is behind this screen? I should remove the screen so that I know what is behind it.
Similarly, the mind is the screen. Behind the screen, the mind, is the very being, the true Self. So the removal, annihilation or withdrawal of the mind, in order to see the being behind the mind, is spiritual practice.
Therefore, spiritual practice is not for transportation to a different world. Some people say, “This spiritual practice will take you to heaven.” That is not necessary because heaven is as much hell as the real hell is.
Heaven, according to the scriptures, is only for a temporary period, as an elected member of parliament can only sit for five years. Afterwards, he has to return to his constituency. Similarly, heaven is a temporary period of comfort, where you can dwell in a five-star hotel, if you can afford it.
So the intention, object or purpose of spiritual practice is not heaven or paradise. Sadhana is for removing the obstacle that stands between you and God, between you and reality, between you and the totality of existence, between you and your being. The very being is masked and encompassed. It is encaged by this thick mantle of mind.
“So Swami, what should I do to remove the obstacle?"
Baba said, “First remove the feeling that you know.“
There are some people here who think that they ‘know’. Remove the feeling that you are special. It is very difficult to remove these feelings! Whatever you say, whosoever you meet, they say, “I know, I know.” If you tell the person where the canteen is, “I know.” If you tell him Baba is giving an interview this afternoon, he says, “I know, I know.”
First we should forget this statement, “I know.” Why? I will tell you: because He is unknowable.
All that is known is the world. I see the rostrum and the pedestal here. I know this is the rostrum. Why? I see it. I hear sound and know it, as I have ears. So those things that are known with these senses are cognition. The senses of perception add to our knowledge. Whatever I see, I say, “I know.” Whatever I hear, I say, “I know.” Whatever I touch, “I know.”
The five senses -- sight, smell, hearing, touch, taste -- give me knowledge. But God is beyond these senses. When He (the being-ness) cannot be known by the senses, how can you say, “I know”?
So you can forget the words ‘I know’. Because of a little accomplishment along the spiritual path, a ray of experience, or a speck of enlightenment, you may be tempted to say, “I know.” But if you are in this situation, at least you can say this: “I know that it cannot be known.”
“I know that IT cannot be known.” That’s what all the scriptures say: that which cannot be known is Divinity. Why? Because all that is known comes through the five senses. But Divinity is beyond the senses. So how can you know it?
To break free from this mire of maya or ignorance, we should first forget this oft-repeated statement, “I know.” Secondly, we should avoid the mistake of claiming that we are special. “I am special.”
About fifteen years ago, I asked a friend to give me a Baba bhajans cassette as I was alone in Brindavan. Brindavan without Swami is a forest. There were no streetlights along the roads. When I was there, there were two mad dogs moving about, that’s all (Laughter). No lights, nothing! Now there are some houses fit for human habitation.
The area is called Kadugodi, which means ‘forest’. When Swami is there, it is busier than the town centres of Delhi, Paris, Madras, London or Hyderabad. In the absence of Swami, it is as isolated as a jungle in Africa -- nothing more so.
I was there in such an isolated situation. Had I been in the hostel, things would have been different. I would have spent some time in the midst of the students. But I had to be alone because my family was coming to join me.
So I caught hold of my friend and said, “Could you give some Baba cassettes?”
He said, “What cassettes?”
“Baba’s bhajan cassettes,” I said.
“No, Mr. Anil Kumar, I am in the next stage” (of spirituality) (Laughter).
“Oh, I see.”
Then I said, from my limited sphere of knowledge, “My friend, I don’t think there are any stages in spirituality. ‘I am in the next stage’, ‘I am in the first stage’, ‘I am in the middle stage’, ‘I am in the last stage’…every stage is the ultimate. The stage in the world is prestige. It is a matter of prestige to be at a stage in the world. In spirituality, there is nothing such as ‘I am in the next stage’, my dear friend.”
“No, no, no,” he said. “I am in the next stage. I don’t have cassettes; I don't listen to cassettes now.”
I said, “That is the last stage for me to reach. Thank you, thank you.” (Laughter)
So my friends, I am speaking from the bottom of my heart. To have a feeling that ‘I am special’, ‘I’m different from others because of my experience, as I’m very close to Swami’, believe me or not, is to be a fool of the first order, because all are close to Swami.
When you say Swami is God, when you accept that we are His children, only a fool will say, “I am His son”. You are His stepson or He is your stepmother! God forbid, let us not meet such fools.
For example: Swami wants to go somewhere, so He will call the driver to drive Him. But the driver can’t say, “I’m close to Swami.”
For the purpose of driving, you may be close to Swami. To run the institute, for administrative or functional purposes, to give instructions, Swami may speak to somebody. That doesn’t mean others are far away from Him, and the ones to whom He speaks are very close to Him. The person who claims this is ego personified. The one who thinks that so-and-so is close to Him is ignorant, metaphorically ignorant. So my friends, let us know that all are close to God.
As He is in you, are you not close to yourself?
If I say to you, “Madam, where is Anil Kumar?” would you say, “I met him this morning; he is perfectly all right.”
No, you would think, “What is he saying? ‘Where is Anil Kumar?’”
Can I search for myself? When I am Anil Kumar, what is the joy in saying, “I am waiting for Anil Kumar to turn up; I am searching for him”? My place is in a lunatic asylum and I should consult a psychiatrist!
So the one who thinks he is close to Swami is mentally imbalanced. It is because of his ignorance that he thinks like that.
Yesterday someone said to me, “Mr. Anil Kumar, I told Swami that I shall go on the 30th and return on the 2nd. Swami smiled and said, ‘Nice, nice. You go.’ Really, Anil Kumar, Swami loves me.“ (Laughter)
“Oh, I see." Then I said, “Can you say, ‘He hates me’? When you want to go and He says, ‘You go’, is that an expression of Love? ‘Don’t go; stay here’ -- is that Love? ‘You go away!’ Is that an expression of Love? (Laughter) Hey! You may be a fool, but don’t make me a fool! No.”
Therefore my friends, when God is within us, when there is no gap of time and space between us, how can there be a statement such as: “This one is close, and the other is not”?
The only thing is (as Baba said), “The ‘I know’ feeling must be dropped, because Divinity cannot be ‘known’.”
The feeling that you are special should be dropped immediately. I am not special. If I am special, I may be special in my foolishness, ignorance, or delusion. I may be special in making this false claim. Certainly not! No one is special, because we are all the children of God. To the father, all the four children are equally dear to him. One cannot be dearer, no, no, no!
So to overcome this ego, these vagaries of the mind, its whims and fancies, one has to drop these two ideas. First, that I am special; and second, that I am unique, that I know.
Someone asked Baba, “Swami, what is the end of this journey? I am crying and crying, my Lord. I am continually praying to You. Your Name dances on my lips, dear Lord. My mind is full of Thy majesty and glory. If I talk with anybody, I speak about You, my God. I say only your Name, Swami. Where is the end? When is the end? “
Baba said this, “In this tireless journey, in this search eternal, there may come a point when we may be tired, when we may be exhausted. We may begin to question whether we are right or wrong to continue the spiritual quest.”
Somebody said, “Anil Kumar, I have been here in Prashanti Nilayam ten years. Am I doing the right thing?”
I said, “Ten years are gone. Wait another ten years. You will be no more!” (Laughter)
At the end of your life, what is the point in wondering if you are doing the right thing?
It seems a fellow consulted an astrologer. The astrologer said, “Young man, you will have ten years of suffering.”
Astrologer, “Yes. Why not?”
“Sir, please go through the notes again. I will pay you more money.”
The astrologer went through his charts. “How much more do you want to pay? I can tell you that you are going to suffer for a very long time, ten years, twenty years.”
“Twenty years? Sir, at least tell me what will happen after the twenty years of suffering and being miserable!” (Laughter)
Astrologer said, “You will get used to it!“ (Laughter)
Therefore, my friends, sometimes we begin to doubt whether we are right or wrong. Is it worthwhile? This doubt is due to depression or frustration. It is due to hopes and expectations. When these go, reality is experienced. Reality (Divinity) is experienced when one’s expectations are given up, when we don’t look for results.
I can give you another statement, my friends. I really thank God many times, with every breath, I tell you, for giving me such a beautiful gathering like this, with whom to share spiritual teachings.
Most people like to hear stories. “I was in a lorry that was in an accident. But Baba saved me.”
“All right, why did He save you?”
“To kill me!” (Laughter)
These stories, how many times do I have to hear them?
“Baba cured my eye problem.”
“Why? So that you don’t see what is reality?”
We hear these stories again and again. Experiences are experiences and I am not underestimating them, my friends. But experiencing should take you to the experiencer. Experiences change, but the experiencer is changeless. Experiences are relative, but the experiencer is absolute.
The experience depends upon your faith or intensity of devotion. But the experiencer has nothing to do with your devotion or your faith because, whether you accept it or not, it is there as existence, the totality and reality of existence. Being lives in reality and cannot be negated.
My friends, we should think more along these lines.
Once I put this question to Swami, “Swami, where is the end of this journey? When is the end of this journey?”
Baba said, “If you de-identify yourself, that is the end of the journey.”
“What do You mean? Can You clarify this?”
“Why not? I identify myself with the body. I will no longer identify myself with the body. I identify myself with the mind. I will no longer identify myself with the mind. If I de-identify myself from these (as I am neither the body nor the mind), that is the last phase of my eternal journey.”
When you de-identify, what will happen? You will remain what you are. When you know what you are NOT, then you will be what you ARE. When you de-identify with the body, the mind and the intellect, you remain as consciousness – that which you have been all along. That is the end of the journey. You don’t have to born again. You don’t have to be born again and again.
For all this, we need a helping hand. Baba extends His helping hand, the ever-loving, ever-living, never-failing God, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, who is amidst us. He is there to extend a cooperative hand, to look at us with concern and sympathy, not to dismiss us. He is there to draw us closer, not to drive us away; to excuse us, not to reject, punish or deny us. We are extremely lucky to accept that He will be our Refuge; that He understands, rescues and pardons us. This kind of approach is necessary today, not only in the spiritual field, but among our families also.
May Bhagavan bless you. Sai Ram.
Asato Maa Sad Gamaya
Tamaso Maa Jyotir Gamaya
Mrtyormaa Amrtam Gamaya
Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu
Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu
Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti